We start the year 2019 with encouraging news for the wild tiger population in Nepal. In almost 10 years, Nepal has kept its promise: to double its population of wild tigers!
After long-term work for the preservation and conservation of tigers in the country’s natural parks, the government of Nepal is delighted to announce today that its tiger population has nearly doubled in a decade. Threatened until then with extinction, a census conducted by the Nepalese Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation reveals an increase in the population, from 121 individuals to 235.
” Nepal has announced that it now has a population of tigers estimated at 235 individuals, nearly double the 121 individuals recorded in 2009 “, welcomed the WWF.
The census was made thanks to the installation of more than 3,000 cameras located in the jungle of Nepalese national parks. Equipped with movement and heat sensors, more than 4,000 images collected in 1 year had to be analyzed to finally see this notable increase.
Protecting tigers: a priority for the Nepalese government
In 2010, Nepal and 12 other nations came together under the Global Tiger Initiative. The objective of this meeting: to double the tiger population in these countries by 2022.
Nepal has taken this commitment very seriously and has embarked on important conservation measures. Our commitment to the Global Tiger Population Restoration Program is gaining momentum, with increasing numbers of tigers in Nepal and the successful implementation of the Nepal Tiger Conservation Action Plan. Protecting tigers is a top priority for the government and we are grateful for the support of our partners, law enforcement agencies and the international community, committed to a common goal, ”said Bishwo Nath Oli, the secretary of the Ministry of Forests and Environment in Nepal.
Mainly victims of poaching, the tiger is also threatened by the disappearance of its natural environment or because of hunting during human-tiger conflicts that we meet in particular in small villages near parks. In order to reduce these threats, the Nepalese government has implemented several measures:
- Some national parks including that of Parsa have been enlarged.
- Today the number of forest guards is very large (they would be close to 8,000).
- Anti-poaching patrols are organized.
- Awareness-raising actions in the villages were employed in order to change mentalities.
- Steps have been taken to provide volunteer villagers with new places to live and to reduce their dependence on the forest.
- Additional protection of the cattle was given in order to avoid the predation of the wild animals and thus to decrease the conflicts between humans and tigers.
” Indeed, the tiger which does not have enough prey to feed itself – either because man hunts the same prey, or because the habitat is so degraded that the prey is lacking – must turn to the cattle. domesticated on which the survival of many village communities depends, ”explains WWF.
Young Nepalese are more and more aware of the animal cause and in particular that of the preservation of the tiger and many engage in the fight against poaching. It is now more difficult for poachers to enter parks.
Photos and videos recovered from cameras installed in the parks showed encouraging signs. The life expectancy of adult tigers has increased noticeably and the playful character of the tigers shows a state of good health.
“ They are playing, which suggests that they are well fed and have the energy to expend. When you see that, you say to yourself: There, that’s a population of tigers that is doing well. Said John Goodrich Senior Director of the Tiger Program at Panthera (an international organization for the conservation of cats).